The Log Goblin by Brian Staveley

The Log Goblin by Brian Staveley
Publisher: Tor Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (13 pages)
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

On a cold winter’s night, a goblin is caught stealing firewood. Then things start getting weird.

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The plot twists in this tale were fabulous. I honestly didn’t see most of them coming, and the few I’d made educated guesses about still found plenty of ways to surprise and delight me. It was a great deal of fun to see all of the effort the author put into keeping the audience on our toes while at the same time providing a truly satisfying storyline.

There was only one tiny thing I would have liked to see written differently, and it had to do with the setting. This could have been set a few winters ago just as easily as it could have been set a few thousand winters ago. I wondered which one of these options was closer to the author’s original vision, and I wished it had been made a little clearer to the readers. Losing firewood in a world where help is potentially a phone call or email away is an entirely different experience from knowing that one’s death is guaranteed if the supply of wood runs out before winter does.

Other than this minor criticism, I loved how much room this story gave the audience to come up with our own ideas about who the two characters were outside of what the narrator told us about himself and the goblin who stole his precious firewood. Even their names were left up to the audience’s imagination, and that was a wonderful way to make this feel timeless.

The Log Goblin is the perfect thing to read for anyone who is currently experiencing winter conditions or wishes they could get a blast of icy cold air in the middle of summer.

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